Northern Ireland news

Site identified by psychic searching for Robert Nairac was 'never' a grave site

Captain Robert Nairac who was abducted by the IRA in South Armagh and secretly buried.

EXPERTS tasked with finding the remains of the 'Disappeared' victims of the Troubles have dismissed outright the possibility that former British soldier Robert Nairac was buried in an area of forest identified by a psychic.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) said that a specific location in Ravensdale Forest Co Louth is not "and never has been a grave site".

The site was identified by a psychic hired by campaigner Alan Barry, who is trying to locate Nairac's remains.

The Army intelligence officer, was shot dead by the IRA in May 1977 after being abducted from a pub in Dromintee, Co Armagh and secretly buried.

Earlier this year Mr Barry hired the psychic Diane Lazarus who led him to the spot. He later hired cadaver dogs to examine the site after the ICLVR did not act on the information provided by the psychic.

"The cadaver dogs confirmed the evidence when they led me to the same area again," Mr Barry said earlier this month.

An examination of the area was carried out on Tuesday by lead forensic scientist Geoff Knupfer and an experienced archaeologist who has worked on previous searches for the Disappeared.

Mr Knupfer said: "We were looking at quite a defined area at which the cadaver dogs had apparently given strong indications.

"We carried out a careful and painstaking archaeological examination.

"If the subsurface had been disturbed by a spade or any other device or implement cutting into it to bury remains we would have seen clear evidence of that.

"There was none. The subsurface was pristine. It was never a grave site", Mr Knupfer added:

"He added: One of the most important aspects of the commission's work is in relation to communicating sensitively with the families of those who are still waiting for the remains of their loved ones to be returned for Christian burial.

"Over the nearly 15 years that I have been leading the ICLVR's investigations we have never told families that we know exactly the spot where their loved one is buried for the very good reason that we don't.

"We work from credible information and draw on years of experience with some of the best forensic archaeologists in Ireland and the UK to narrow down a site and all we can ever say with confidence is that if the remains are there we will find them.

"But there are no guarantees where bodies have been secretly buried over 40-years-ago. To suggest otherwise would be grossly irresponsible", he added.

Anyone with information relating to the whereabouts of the remains of Joe Lynskey, Columba McVeigh or Robert Nairac should contact CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 and the untraceable anonymous online form is at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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